SMART METERS AND YOUR HEALTH: THE TRUTH
You might have heard that smart meters could be dangerous to your health – but there’s no scientific evidence that smart meters pose a risk to your health or the health of your family.
IS IT SAFE TO GET A SMART METER?
All smart meters meet the same safety standards, regardless of your energy supplier. They must have undergone checks to ensure they meet UK and EU safety standards. All smart meters are installed by trained professionals.
When fitting your smart meter, your installer will also perform some limited visual safety checks to identify signs of risk in your gas appliances. From the start of 2017 to the end of March 2021, 1,382,000 safety issues unrelated to smart metering were identified by installers as part of the free visual safety check, helping to protect households across Great Britain. Your supplier will also receive alerts about your smart meter functionality, meaning any potential issues can be identified quickly.
Luke explains the visual safety check:
I'm Luke I live in Manchester with my wife and my three-year-old daughter. We live in a semi-detached house.
We decided to get a smart meter to help save money on energy bills, and monitor our use.
With our installation we applied online, and they came out. The engineer assessed our boiler.
We've just had a service few months ago, so I didn't think they'd be any problems but, yeah, they said that there was a dangerous element with our boiler. There's a gap between the boiler and the flue and he put a big red sticker all over it and said it was dangerous to use and we shouldn't be using that boiler. He said you keep it on for now but you really need to get it fixed.
And obviously with a three year old daughter and a wife in the house I couldn't take any chances. So it's good we would never have spotted it otherwise because, like I said, we'd had it serviced and the engineer didn't spot anything. But the smart meter fitter did. So you know could sense a big problem in the future.
Since we've had the smart meter installed, I've definitely found behaviours change around the house. I will literally go around telling lights off and checking for items that are on. On the smart meter it's got a red light, when it comes on if there's too much energy being used or a high proportion of energy being used. So I'll know then something's been left on somewhere in the house, and I'll look around for that and switch off.
Since researching a smart meter and getting a smart meter, it has made more conscious of like my carbon footprint. Which is good for teaching my daughter for the future. It's good to be environment friendly where we can be.
I definitely recommend and smart meter, yes, friends and family. I recommended my dad get one and he's booked to have one fitted. Told everyone really, there's no reason not to get one I don't think.
CAN SMART METERS CATCH ON FIRE?
All smart meters are installed by trained professionals, who will check your meter is set up correctly. It’s important not to tamper with your smart meter once it’s been installed. Tampering with your smart meter could result in it being disconnected, and in certain circumstances your supplier may not reinstall the meter. Any tampering with a smart meter will send an alert to your supplier.
When installing your smart meter, the installer will perform some limited visual safety checks on existing gas appliances that they are made aware of. If an existing home appliance isn’t made available for the installer to review, this won’t be checked.
If you do have any concerns about your smart meter after installation, you should immediately contact your supplier for support. If you think you smell gas, you should immediately call the national gas emergency number: 0800 111 999 (this can also be found on the front of gas meters on the yellow sticker).
DO SMART METERS RELEASE RADIATION?
Smart meters record the amount of electricity and gas that your property consumes over time. They are electronic & connect to a central secure smart data network. Smart meters use radio waves to communicate the information they collect – these transmissions allow the readings to be securely taken remotely.
Some people are worried that the radiation emitted by smart meters could be a health risk, but Public Health England (PHE) – the Government watchdog on public health – says they pose no risk to public health.
While smart meters do emit radiation, it’s much lower than that from other everyday devices such as your mobile phone and your Wi-Fi equipment. Evidence suggests that exposures to the radio waves produced by smart meters do not pose a health risk.
It marks the dawning of a dystopian future...
It forced every pet to flee in terror...
It poses a major radiation risk!
“Public Health England have done the research on the safety of smart meters, which passed everything with flying colours. As for the radiation level? Turns out it’s way lower than your mobile or WiFi. See? Absolutely nothing to be scared of.”
SO, WHAT IS BACKGROUND RADIATION?
Radioactive materials occur naturally, and we encounter it every day – from the food we eat and the air we breathe, to the materials our buildings are made from and the household items we use. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to every day depends on where you live, what job you do, and many other factors.
You don’t need to take our word for it: Public Health England (PHE) has carried out an extensive programme of research to make sure smart metres are safe, as the technology is rolled out in Great Britain. The research had 3 elements:
Phase 1: Measuring exposure to radio waves from a selection of smart meter devices under laboratory conditions
Phase 2: Calculating and mapping the ways radio wave energy from smart meters is absorbed in the body
Phase 3: Assessing a sample group of homes to determine the level of exposures under normal operating conditions
The results confirmed PHE’s existing advice that exposure to radio waves from smart meters is well below the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). In fact, radio waves from smart meters are likely to be much lower than that from other everyday devices, like your mobile phone or Wi-Fi router.
We put it to the test – how much radiation to common household items produce? And how do smart meters compare?:
Anything with an electrical current will give off an EMF reading…
A smart meter, or an analogue meter, or your vacuum cleaner, or your microwave, or your mobile phone, or even your kettle.
None of these are dangerous to your health.
Smart meters are as safe as your toothbrush.
Smart meters are a safe addition to your home, and they could help you save money too.
Ready to get yours? Simply enter your energy supplier’s name below and we’ll get you started: